Events such as Christmas Carols can attract quite a crowd, so here are a few tips to help keep everyone as safe as possible.
The humble candle might appear quite harmless but in fact emergency authorities report having to regularly attend house fires started by candles every year. If you intend offering candles at your carol night, make sure to provide non-flammable holders for people to use with them.
However, a much safer option is to offer flame free alternatives – such as battery-operated candle lights, or handheld LEDs or glowsticks.
Christmas tree safety
Most people love a Christmas tree, but they can tip over and cause accidents. If you do put up a tree make sure it is stable, fire-resistant and does not cause any obstruction, and that the lights are safe to use.
Crowd control and security
Security should be a permanent feature of your church all year round, but extra vigilance might be required for Christmas events. Tips include:
- Prior to events, make sure all valuables and cash are secured.
- Provide volunteers with specific roles and ensure they are properly trained in them. This includes security, health & safety, manning of entry points and directing of attendees both outside and inside the building.
- Put up temporary barriers if appropriate.
- Make sure all volunteers have a clear role and are visible to the crowd – such as with an ID tag and reflective clothing.
Use of live animals?
While using live animals for nativity scenes and plays might make it all seem more authentic, this practice is fraught with risk and isn’t recommended. If you are however considering using live animals, get in touch with the CCI office to discuss safety, risk management and insurance cover.
It’s important to be mindful of copyright requirements for your church’s music. Traditional carols are generally fine as they are in the public domain, but other songs you want to use may not be. See APRA-AMCOS for more information.
Insurance and permits
Lastly, make sure your public liability insurance is up to date! And if you intend holding events away from your premises, please let CCI know in advance. You should also ensure you have the appropriate permits from your council.
Merry Christmas for 2019!Tags: church event safety, fire, risk management, security